Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Let there be Fonera 2.0

Its official. Fonera 2.0 is up for grabs in Europe. Bust out your 49 Euros (about 63 good ol' American dollars)

From the Fonosfera Blog:

"As you can see it’s a Dolphin (yeah, I know you guessed by the name, smartass!) and is here to help you and play with you. Flipper does already include all the features we want in the Fonera 2.0 (for now :D ). Here is the list of the new features compared to old good Platero:
  • Facebook Uploader: wanna share the pics of the weekend with all your mates? Put them in a pendrive, “facebook” folder and plug it in the Fonera 2.0. Everybody will see you drunk! (No, no, calm down. All the pics and videos are always uploaded in PRIVATE mode :D )
  • Flickr Uploader and Picasa Uploader were already added in the Release Candidates.
  • Install new versions from the Applications menu! From now on, a single click will separate your Fonera 2.0 from the next firmware… no need to visit blog.fonosfera.org anymore :( But please, come back or we will be sad!
  • Nintendo DS works.
  • Freed space for more plugins! We now have 1,5MB instead of 1,19MB :)
  • Samba and FONBackup have a separated firewall option.
  • Fixed IE visualization of the Wizard (yes, IE users, now it works… dunno why we fixed it though, lol).
  • Fixed Torrent crashing problem with files that have many seeds.
  • Torrent downloader now lets you chose the port and will be automatically opened on the firewall.
  • The partitions on multi-partition disks can be now labeled as well.
  • Polish has been added (thanks Ɓukasz!).
  • You can now assign static DHCP leases and domain names inside your local network.
  • 3G connectivity reworked: a long list of providers is preloaded so you need not to configure any value.
  • And many more things… if you’re interested, check previous posts. I’m not writing all we did again :D

Bugs: yeah… as always. We will fix them, please report them!

Once again, and after having released the HW to the public, thanks to all involved! Martin, Jordi, John, Pablo, Javi, Steven, Alex etc etc etc etc etc etc etc (yeah, lots of people :D )"

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wifi.com acquires Whisher

For all of you Whisher users and for those who have never heard of either. This is a great service that is FREE, doesn't require you to buy proprietary hardware, and offers a public encrypted hotspot.

"The news are out! We can finally disclose what we have been working on during the last few months - Wifi.com completed the acquistion of Whisher in mid-January.

Wifi.com is the logical progression for Whisher, as it combines the best domain possible for a WiFi-related service, our mature client and backend technology, and their experienced team which brings on board business development and marketing experience, as well as US-based operations which can help us grow considerably. We already have exciting deals in the pipeline which will soon be announced.

We would like to thank our fans, our users, our investors, and even our critics, for all their help, feedback, input and support during these three years. With your continued help we can now make wifi.com grow way further!

Below is a short FAQ on the deal.

Q. What does this mean for Whisher users?

A. Whisher users don’t need to worry about service continuity. Simply download the new Wifi.com plugin, available at http://www.wifi.com/download.html. Uninstall your current plugin (Mac users, remember to reboot after you remove the Preferences Pane), and install the new one, entering your current Whisher login & password. Wifi.com uses the Whisher technology for its backend, website and client plugins.

Q. What happened to our shared hotspots, and the maps?

A. The reason the maps have been offline for the last few weeks is that at one point we had to switch our database over to the wifi.com servers, and thus the maps started working at http://www.wifi.com/find.php. We also have a WiFi directory at http://www.wifi.com/location/. The hotspots you have shared are all safe, and available under your account at http://www.wifi.com/ - nothing has been lost.

Q. Will you be offering premium WiFi access?

A. Right now wifi.com will concentrate on the social aspects of sharing. Control who you share with, add as much free WiFi hostpots to the community, and promote interaction between users. Eventually, we will start offering access to commercial and premium hotspots through per-minute and subscription models.

Q. Why hasn’t there been much activity around Whisher during the past few weeks?

A. We have been asked this many times, and we even read comments on other blogs that we were about to shut down - nothing further from the truth! What we have been doing is working extremely hard with wifi.com in order to bring the new service online as quickly as possible. We are a small team, and thus we could not dedicate enough resources to developing Whisher at the same time.

Q. What happens with the Whisher team?

A. Mike Puchol joins wifi.com as CTO, while Ferran Moreno and David Douek both go onto other exciting enterprises, about which we will soon hear great things about. You can find out more about the new team at wifi.com com at http://www.wifi.com/aboutus.html"

via blog.whisher.com

What are the main benefits of wifi.com for users?

Wifi.com enables users to easily share their secure networks with their friends and colleagues. Wifi.com enables users to connect to commercial wifi networks (at hotels or airports) on a per minute basis, which can be significantly less expensive than per day or month service providers. Wifi.com will enable users to more securely browse the Internet when in public by encrypting users' wireless Internet connections.
visit WiFi.com for more info

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fonera 2.0 Development

Taking a look at the development of La Fonera 2.0 over the past month.

The Jamendo Team demonstrates using a the fonera 2.0 along with a usb sound card and playing the radio through it.

It looks like the fonosfera group has really been at the firmware for the new router. I'm quite surprised actually. I really wish Fon would have put this much work in their previous products. A lot has happened over the past couple of months. Currently they are on the RC2 version of the firmware.


Platero is a donkey. It has taken long time to come, but it finally arrived and his side-bags are full of new features. First of all, and before anyone starts asking about it: TORRENT DOWNLOAD IS HERE. Yes, yes! and this is not all… This is the nice list:

  • Installation wizard. Some questions will be asked the first time you connect to the fonera 2.0 and type “fonera” on your browser.
  • Youtube Uploader. Take a pen drive, put all your videos in a folder named “youtube” and plug it to the fonera. Your videos will be automatically uploaded to your YouTube account! This is a real 2.0 router.
  • Torrent downloader. Get some torrent files, upload them to the fonera and this will download them for you. You can turn your computer off and go to bed. Platero will do the work :)
  • MegaUpload and RapidShare downloads. Yes, we never announced this. How does it sound? Configure your RS or MU account, copy a big lot of MU or RS links from the Internet and paste them on the fonera interface. The fonera will download the. But wait… you don’t want to download stuff while you surf? no worries, tell Platero to download things at a certain time frame, while you sleep for instance!
  • 3G provider list. Have a 3G USB dongle and don’t know your configuration settings? No worries, tell the fonera your country and your 3G provider… Platero knows the rest (except for your PIN, of course :P )
  • Need help? check our videos. Every page in the fonera GUI now has a help button. It will take you to a video where our lovely colleague Martina will tell you how to use that page. Ain’t it sweet? More videos and improvements are coming!
  • More to come… we’re already developing new features (improved interface), new applications (VPN, advanced networking, Picasa uploader, iStremer for iTunes…), fixing bugs, etc.
  • Added flickr functionality: works as the youtube one. Put pictures on the pendrive on a “flickr” folder and they’re uploaded when plugged!
  • Added picasa functionality: exactly the same way but on a “picasa” folder.
  • Nintendo DS now works fine with this firmware!!! (more than one will be happy in Japan…).
  • Freed space for more plugins! We now have 1,5MB instead of 1,19MB :)
  • Samba and FONBackup have a separated firewall option.
  • Fixed IE visualization of the Wizard (yes, IE users, now it works… dunno why we fixed it though, lol).
  • Fixed Torrent crashing problem with files that have many seeds.
  • Torrent downloader now lets you chose the port and will be automatically opened on the firewall.
  • The partitions on multi-partition disks can be now labeled as well.
  • Facebook uploader is here! You can now add as many pictures as you want to facebook. I used it 2 and I’m already the biggest image uploader of all my friends!
  • Picasa uploader fixed! it used to crash with many pictures to upload. Not any more!
  • Static DHCP leases…
  • All icons are now alligned and look better :P We also like design ;)
  • 3G connectivity has been reworked and has more options now.
  • Picasa and Youtube applications now check your password and let you know if it’s wrong
  • The FONBackup page has been redesigned. Now you can browse the content of your backup to make sure it’s all in there!
  • The password bug has been fixed, yes.
  • Added nice icons on the File browser to directly upload pictures and videos to picasa, flickr, facebook and youtube. Nice hack
  • WiFi-WAN now works better. It didn’t work with some routers before…

We finally have a release date for Fonera 2.0. (at least we hope) Its set for April 21 (2009 in case you forgot) and will only be for sale in Europe. What will the price be? Well they claim it will be about 49 euros or about 66 good ol' american dollars. We'll see it in the usa about sometime in May.

Martin claims that the fonera 2.0 is green. (environmentally speaking). Hahahaha. He doesnt justify his claims very well. No surprise here. His arguments are always weak and vague. Read it for yourself.

"Besides being an exciting gadget, the Fonera 2.0 helps you reduce some of the CO2 you generate in your digital life. The Fonera 2.0 is Green because you can save energy moving your long time consuming tasks from your notebook or desktop to your Fonera 2.0 router, allowing you to shut down your computer while Fonera 2.0 does the uploading and downloading.

When we leave our computers on at night, doing long uploads of our videos to YouTube, or downloading huge files with BitTorrent, our notebook or desktop cannot go to standby mode and wastes from 10 to 100W of electricity - 10W is what we would consume with a very energy efficient notebook with its screen off, and 100W is with a not-so-efficient Core Duo desktop PC using a screen saver with the monitor on. And multiply all this for an entire night, for as many nights as we leave it on!

With the new Fonera 2.0 executing all these uploading/downloading tasks, and with a USB HDD attached to it, you will only consume from 2.95W to 3.85W (depending on HDD model).

This means that, in the worst case scenario, you will reduce to 1/3rd the CO2 emissions that our uploading/downloading generates and if you are replacing an average desktop PC, CO2 emissions using the Fonera 2.0 will be reduced up to 30 times.

So, all of us at FON that have been developing this piece of equipment for quite a while, feel happy that this social router that manages your relationship with the web 2.0 is also greener than any alternative to upload and download."

Not to mention he claims it will pay for itself in less than a year with all of the money you'll be saving. Read on.

"But how much money can you save? Say you keep a desktop PC, consuming around 100 W, powered up day and night to download content from the Net. If the average price in Europe for a kilowatt hour is €0,18, your PC will cost you around €157 per year. Using a Fonera 2.0 you could keep your PC on for only 10 hours a day, and the Fonera will do the downloading/uploading for you during the night, using only around 3 watts. You’ll save €89 in one year and pay back the €49 investment to buy your Fonera 2.0 in less then 7 months. Furthermore, every year you’ll avoid producing 355 kilograms of CO2. Your PC left on day and night would otherwise emit 629 kg of CO2 in one year, equivalent to driving a BMW X3 SUV for 3600km. Turning your PC off at night and using your Fonera 2.0 for downloading will bring your CO2 emissions down to 273kg per year."

and to top it off Martin tries to show the competitive analysis of the fonera 2.0.

Well Fon, you guys put a lot of food on your plate this time. Hopefully your eyes arent bigger than your stomach. Many claims and promises have been made, and for once you guys better stich to it. In the mean time, for the rest of us. We just have to wait...again. So while your waiting, sit back and relax, drinking a fresh Fonapple!